In the Spotlight

News & Features
Is Holland the One?
By Mark Zdechlik
July 16, 1999
Click for audio RealAudio 3.0

It looks as though the University of Minnesota is close to having a new basketball coach. After meetings with U officials, University of Virginia Athletic Director Terry Holland is now reportedly deciding whether to take a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract.

Terry Holland was appointed athletic director at the University of Virginia during an uproar over criminal cases involving athletes. See stories about Holland in the University of Virginia's Cavalier Daily archive.
MOST RECENTLY, TERRY HOLLAND has worked as an administrator but he holds a distinguished coaching record, the highlights of which include two Final Four appearances with Virginia in the early 1980s and a career total win loss record of 418 to 216. As the U struggles to rebuild a basketball program tarnished by allegations of academic fraud and mishandling of sexual-misconduct accusations against athletes, there seems to be consensus , Terry Holland is an ideal candidate for the job.

University of Minnesota regent Robert Bergland, a former Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture, lived in Virginia for several years. And he remembers Holland as a coach with impeccable standards.

Terry Holland is 57 years old. He was educated in economics at Davidson College in North Carolina where he played basketball and got into coaching. After six years as head coach at Davidson, Holland went on to the University of Virginia for his longest head coaching stint which ran from 1974 to 1990. Regent Bergland says says he doesn't know details of the job offer. According to published reports, the University is offering Holland a $7 million seven-year contract. Half of the money would reportedly come from sources outside the university such as basketball camps and product endorsements.

Put your opinion on the record in the MPR Forum.

See the collection of newsroomstories on the University of Minnesota basketball scandal.
Alex Wolfe follows college basketball for Sports Illustrated magazine. He's currently on sabbatical and writing a book a basketball. Wolfe says in choosing Holland, the University of Minnesota is purposefully forgoing an opportunity to bring a flashy and potentially risky focal point to its troubled basketball program.

And it's not simply a public relations battle the University must fight as it attempts to recover from its latest basketball scandal. NCAA sanctions will likely follow the U's investigation of wrongdoing under Clem Haskins' leadership. Wolfe and other speculate the University hopes if Holland takes the job, the repercussions that lie ahead will somehow be less severe.

University of Minnesota Daily Editor-in-Chief Aaron Kirscht says students are fed up with sports scandals in the wake of the allegations surrounding Haskins' program. Still, Kirscht says students want winning teams. He thinks in recruiting Holland, the U is focusing too much on public relations at the expense of strengthening its basketball program.